On Monday evening, tens of thousands of Estonians enjoyed a basketball championship final between old rivals Kalev/Cramo and TÜ/Rock. But one young man's experience was ruined when the dance troupe came on for one last time.
"I was watching Kalev play Rock and during the final break the girls danced to a song in Russian. I left. #absurd," Jaak Madisson, a Conservative Peoples' Party MP (EKRE), tweeted. What followed is a textbook example of social media backlash.
Madison's #absurd hashtag went viral, with countless people posting mock messages about anything to do with Russia and Russians, in a bid to show Madison how his ill-judged and #absurd attitude will not be tolerated in the society for much longer.
"My colleagues applauded Russian Eurovision entry. I resigned. #absurd," one user tweeted. "I broke into my female colleague's cabin, asked what her name was. Tatiana, she said. I left. #absurd," said another, in reference to one of Madison's recent scandals, involving alleged harassment of female co-workers.
With an increasing number of politicians giving in to political incorrectness during heated public debates on the gender-neutral Cohabitation Act and the European Commission's plan to resettle several hundred asylum seekers in Estonia, among other matters, several opinion leaders have called on people not to accept the use of labelling and offensive language. However, serious joint action to oppose what many see as hate speech was hitherto largely missing, although public outrage did play a part in Jürgen Ligi's resignation as finance minister, after he made derogatory comments on the ethnic origin on former Education Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski.
Madison's most recent faux pas is very similar to Labor MP and shadow minister Emily Thornberry white van scandal in the UK. But unlike Thornberry, whose tweet was offensive to many working class members, Madison, given his track record on such matters, is unlikely to resign as a result.
Editor: M. Oll